Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak grabbed his maiden hat-trick in international cricket to help Bangladesh level the Micromax One-Day Cup after a six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe at a packed Sher- e-Bangla National Stadium on Friday.
Razzak, who was duly named man-of-the-match, was in top form with the ball, finishing with impressive figures of 5-30, his second five-wicket haul in his career as the hosts bowled out Zimbabwe for a non-competitive 191 runs in 46,2 overs.
Friday’s performance took Razzak’s wicket tally for the series to eight in two matches after he picked up three wickets in the first match.
Razzak (28) was well supported by his skipper and fellow spinner Shakib Al Hasan who chipped in with four wickets for 39 runs to restrict Zimbabwe to the paltry total. Junaid Saddique (53) and Rokibul Hasan (65) then both scored half-centuries as the hosts reached 194 for four in 39,4 overs to spare to level the five match series to 1-1.
The Zimbabwean spinners did not find as much success as their Bangladesh counterparts as only Ray Price caused a few anxious moments, before finishing with two wickets
A capacity crowd thronged the Sher- e-Bangla National Stadium, typical of Fridays in this part of the world where the day is a holiday, and the hosts did not disappoint their fans, putting up a solid performance. Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura lost the toss for the second consecutive match and his opposite number Hasan again elected to field.
Zimbabwe’s innings never got going, especially after the loss of Chamunorwa Chibhabha in the second over when he top-edged Shakibul Islam behind for 1 attempting to pull Shakibul Islam.
For the second match in a roll, no Zimbabwean batsman managed to post a half-century as Craig Ervine top-scored with an unbeaten 42 runs from 41 balls.
The left-handed batsman shared a seventh-wicket partnership of 52 runs with Prosper Utseya (32) which could have seen Zimbabwe post a decent score had they finished their allotted 50 overs.
However, after losing Utseya in the 45th over Ervine ran out of partners after the former’s departure triggered a lower order collapse in which Zimbabwe lost their last three wickets for three runs.
During that time Razzak completed his hat-trick to become only the second Bangladesh bowler to achieve that feat after Shahadat Hossain recorded a similar haul in August 2006, ironically against Zimbabwe in Harare.
After the dismissal of the openers Regis Chakabva (21) looked solid but was stumped by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim to leave the score at 53 for three after Brendan Taylor was caught earlier trying to clear mid-on.
Keith Dabengwa and Tatenda Taibu then tried to resurrect the innings although they found it difficult to find the runs as the spinners held fort.
Dabengwa’s 30 ate up 69 deliveries while Taibu was trapped lbw for 21 off 18 balls by the dangerman Razzak who led the onslaught to restrict Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe will now have to come up with ideas to deal with this deadly left-arm spinner ahead of the third ODI on the same venue in a day/night encounter on Sunday.